Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hein, JL Arnott, SA Roumillat, WA Allen, DM and de Buron, I 2014. Invasive swimbladder parasite Anguillicoloides crassus: infection status 15 years after discovery in wild populations of American eel Anguilla rostrata. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Vol. 107, Issue. 3, p. 199.

    COSTA-DIAS, S. DIAS, E. LOBÓN-CERVIÁ, J. ANTUNES, C. and COIMBRA, J. 2010. Infection by Anguillicoloides crassus in a riverine stock of European eel, Anguilla anguilla. Fisheries Management and Ecology, Vol. 17, Issue. 6, p. 485.

    Kennedy, C R 2007. The pathogenic helminth parasites of eels. Journal of Fish Diseases, Vol. 30, Issue. 6, p. 319.

    Palstra, A.P. Heppener, D.F.M. van Ginneken, V.J.T. Székely, C. and van den Thillart, G.E.E.J.M. 2007. Swimming performance of silver eels is severely impaired by the swim-bladder parasite Anguillicola crassus. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Vol. 352, Issue. 1, p. 244.

    Kirk, R. S. 2003. The impact of Anguillicola crassus on European eels. Fisheries Management and Ecology, Vol. 10, Issue. 6, p. 385.


The osmotic relationship of the swimbladder nematode Anguillicola crassus with seawater eels

  • R. S. KIRK (a1) (a2), D. MORRITT (a1), J. W. LEWIS (a1) and C. R. KENNEDY (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2002

The study was designed to test the hypothesis that the majority of individuals in a population of Anguillicola crassus can tolerate seawater by osmoconformation with the blood plasma of the eel host. The osmolality of the pseudocoelomic fluid of pre-adult and adult A. crassus was compared to the osmolality of eel plasma after eels were maintained in laboratory freshwater for 2 weeks (short-term transfer) or 3 months (long-term transfer) or in natural seawater for 2 h (acute transfer), 2 weeks or 3 months. The majority of A. crassus (at least 90% of the tested population) osmoconform with their hosts in seawater within ±30 mOsm/kg of host osmolality. Some pre-adults and adults (15–21% of the total population) were unable to withstand osmotic stress resulting in vacuolation of the hypodermis and intestinal wall, and cuticular detachment. The reasons for variation in the tissue tolerance of A. crassus to increased osmolality of host plasma are unknown and are not related to maturity, sex or conditions in the swimbladder. Osmoconformation in the majority of the population, however, enables parasites to survive and reproduce for long periods in seawater eels. The adaptation of A. crassus to its euryhaline host has played an important part in the rapid spread of the swimbladder nematode in populations of the European eel.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author: School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE. Tel: +020 8547 2000 X2732. Fax: +020 8547 7562. E-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *